Kierstal Renee Arzen (kierstal) wrote in artists_beware,
Kierstal Renee Arzen
kierstal
artists_beware

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Hey all, It's been a long time since I posted here, so I'm unlurking for a few minutes.

The first reason is because I'd like to gracously thank ryokokitty for the prompt and polite communication, timely progress, and beautiful completion of the commission she did for me back in August. I don't get the opportunity to commission other artists very often, and I have to say that my experience working with her was one of the most pleasant I've ever had.

The second reason isn't so much a warning about myself (apparently people don't appreciate that very much) but a public FYI that I haven't forgotten those who have commissioned me or asked me for trades in the past. I took a year-long hiatus from not just furry art, but art in general, following some severely stressful situations with regards to the discovery of my furry fetish work by my family and a less-than-satisfactory experience working with a certain client (which I explain in detail behind the cut below). I WILL begin taking commissions in early 2007, after I've been able to gain closure in one form or another on my current backlog.

I don't know if this is the appropriate place to post this (let me know and I'll edit it out), but there have been a lot of comments about how artists aren't clear about their terms before they get commissioned - usually about things like distribution rights and timescale - and I'm curious as to whether my own "Commission Info" page is the sort of thing a client wants to see before entering into a commisison transaction. I know it's long and probably boring, but I tried not to leave out anything... How can an artist lay their terms flat on the table without coming across as pretentious and self-righteous, anyway? :/

Finally, I would like to post about my experience working with a certain client and former friend. This happened several months ago, but I haven't ever actually gone into detail about it publicly until now:


I'd like to start by saying how regretful the need to post this makes me. I don't want to seem like I'm out to smear this person, for the sake of the good friend that he used to be. But I do feel the need to relay my experience.

Some of you may be familiar with a fur who went by the name of Tadji / Tadjima / Tadrick. He used other names but I can't honestly remember what they were at this point. He went through a series of different fursona's - bear, horse, cat, wolf... he couln't really seem to make up his mind. Which is fine, really, I dont' really care one way or another... I lived with him and chrispardus in MA for almost a year, and towards the end of that time, Tadrick commissioned me to do an illustration of his character in return for my portion of the apartment rent and bills for that month. Fair enough.

Admittedly, being able to work that closely with someone was nice, I could just walk over and show him my progress, and he could walk over and look and offer hands-on critique and show me right there what needed changed. When he had me do this peice, he'd decided that his fursona was a tanuki. Okay, fine. He handed me a TON of reference material for the work, and while it was more fetishy than I'm usually comfortable with, it was paying my rent so... whatever. Well, when it got to the coloring stage, he kept changing his mind about the coloration and fur pattern of his character. Since I'm working in colored pencil, it's REALLY HARD to go over what's already been done - I ended up doing several layers of white gel pen and colored pencil until the peice was perfect according to him... the background was more detailed than I'd ever done, before, etc. A few of the things in the image were based on real-life objects.

When the picture was done, I was exhausted - artistically and emotionally. He seemed very pleased with the finished peice though he made some absent comments about further changes of mind he'd had about the character design, making me feel like he didn't appreciate it as much as he said he did, but was instead trying to make me feel like I hadn't wasted all that time.

The real burn about it came less than 6 months after the peice was finished - he decided that he was no longer a fur, that he thought of us as "freaks" and that we, his former friends, didn't "fit into his ideal lifestyle" anymore - all that time that I spent working so closely with him, him baring his fetishes and kinks to me so I could work them into the drawing - wasted. Completely. And then basically being called a freak because I produced it. I'd be willing to put money on the bet that he destroyed or threw away that peice, and if I'd known that it was going to end up like that, I would never have agreed to draw it and came up with the rent money some other way.

Just to have something that you work SO HARD on just... tossed aside like so much garbage. *sigh*
Here's the picture in question, though be warned that it's rather hardcore: http://www.furaffinity.net/view/302337/

I doubt Tadrick will return to the furry community again, but if he does, be warned. He's prone to doing complete 180's about things, almost none of his decisions actually stick for good, and he can be a pretty unpleasant person when he wants to be.
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